This is a 'carbon neutral' guest house sitting in a valley of almond and pine. Heat and light from the sun, thermal winds and wood from the land combine in a system of solar panels, wind mills and fires to cook and create energy. Rain water is harvested from the roof. Waste water is managed and utilised through a system of reed beds and a grey water recovery system is used to irrigate the dry land.
This Cortijada sits benignly in the mountains and when you look aloft to the Golden eagles in the sky, living at the apex of the food chain, you can be confident that your stay here will no more effect the natural ecology other than to serve it. We operate on the following sustainable technologies: 3000w wind turbine, 48v photo voltaic panel that tracks the passage of the sun, 24 vacuum tube hot water solar collectors creating 600 litres of hot water a day (depending on sun hours), 2 x 50,000 Kcal bio-mass wood boilers for underfloor central heating and hot water, Hergom L-09 CCE wood burning kitchen range creates 24,500 Kcal hot water to augment the bio-mass boilers. Wood fuel is taken from our own land and is a mixture of almond and pine and occasionally poplar. Olive is sometimes bought in from local sources.
Black water and grey water systems throughout the cortijada. Black water from the toilets is carried to a 45000 litre septic tank from where it is delivered to two alternating vertical flow reed beds for aerobic treatment. From here it drains to a sludge bed to remove dead bacteria and then on to a large horizontal flow reed bed for anaerobic treatment. The end product is 98 percent clean and used for irrigating trees composite to land reclamation and anti-erosion systems. Grey water from showers, baths, basins, the washing machine and dish washer, with the aid of ecological detergents, is filtered through straw and pine needles and used to irrigate a terraced orchard. Filter material is regularly replaced and composted. Rainwater is harvested from the roof and channelled through a system of acequias to a 50,000 litre underground deposit.
All waste is composted or recycled. Food for the cortijada, as much as possible, is bought locally supporting the local economy and food culture. 2009 sees the inception of our new ‘salad garden’. You can fly to this accommodation safe in the knowledge that your carbon foot print for such a journey is about equivalent to a week’s stay in a conventional hotel. Here we are carbon neutral so you have more or less offset the carbon emissions of your flight completely.
All the produce from our kitchen is purchased and produced locally with the occasional exception of ecological detergents which sometimes have to come from further afield. The accommodation is host to Joya, a residency for artists working within transition culture. Our activities bring international attention to the issues of sustainability and sustainable tourism which benefits directly the local economy. These were once five old farm houses, a cortijada, now converted into one very beautiful space. Great homage and respect has been given in it's restoration to the simple vernacular architecture of the building.
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